Oct. 3, 2006

Lehman Fund honors 11th president's ongoing commitment to Cornell-China connection

During his inauguration speech in September, Cornell President David J. Skorton announced the establishment of the Jeffrey Sean Lehman Fund for Scholarly Exchange with China, in honor of Cornell's 11th president. A faculty and graduate student exchange program, the Lehman fund will support several projects each year involving substantive interaction between Cornell and the finest higher education institutions in China.

"I am enormously grateful to have been honored in this way," said Lehman. "I believe that faculty and graduate student exchange with the best Chinese institutions of higher education is important both for Cornell and for China. It means a great deal to me to have my name associated with this exciting program."

The fund will be administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Relations and will provide annual grants up to $20,000 each to launch research projects, hold conferences, host visitors from China or support faculty travel to China.

"The Lehman Fund is an excellent way to stimulate bottom-up Cornell-China research collaborations, and so a very fitting way to recognize Jeff Lehman's strategic initiatives in China," said David Wippman, Cornell professor of law and vice provost for international relations.

Wippman said the competitive grants will be awarded to projects that support or complement existing Cornell linkages to Chinese universities; show a strong likelihood of continuing beyond the grant period; rely in part on or lead to obtaining external grant funding; and would not take place without seed funding provided by the Lehman Fund. Cornell faculty and graduate students from any discipline are encouraged to apply.

Lehman is on leave from the Cornell Law School, where he is a professor, and is serving as a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He will be on campus in November to deliver lectures for the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs and Cornell Southeast Asia Program on globalization and its impact on the welfare state and the rule of law.